Petition Calls for Withdrawal of NT Intervention Legislation
20 March 2012 at 1:32 pm
Photo courtesy standforfreedom.org.au
The Not for Profit Stand For Freedom campaign, created by Our Generation in partnership with ANTaR, will deliver a petition to the Senate signed by 33,000 Australians urging the Gillard Government to withdraw the controversial NT Intervention, Stronger Futures legislation.
The legislation is expected to be debated in the Senate this week.
“Since we launched the campaign three weeks ago, there has been an outpouring of public support for its clear message: that this legislation has been created without the consent of Aboriginal people in the NT, and goes against their wishes for more control over their own lives. Tens of thousands of Australians are now calling for these bills to be withdrawn immediately,” said Campaign Director, Damien Curtis.
“After 5 years of the failed Northern Territory Intervention, Aboriginal communities are at breaking point and cannot withstand 10 more years of top-down policy-making that disregards their human rights. It’s time for a new policy direction from the Government, in true partnership with Aboriginal people,” Curtis said.
The report of the Senate Community Affairs Committee Inquiry was released last week. It recommended minor changes be made to the legislation, with only the Greens dissenting.
However, many in the health, welfare and human rights sectors have expressed outrage that the report did not reflect the many specific concerns about the legislation outlined in more than 450 submissions to the Senate Committee.
“Many of the solutions proposed by Aboriginal communities to improve governance, alcohol management and education were ignored, as was the widespread opposition to key measures such as compulsory income management,” said Jacqueline Phillips, ANTaR National Director.
Phillips says the report made no mention of the key demand by the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples that the bill be tested for human rights compliance.
“Australia can do better than this. It’s time for a new approach based on respect, partnership, community-driven development and evidence,” Phillips said.
Organisers says the online campaign is gathering more support every day saying popular musicians John Butler, Archie Roach and Jimmy Little have come behind it and are encouraging the wider Australian music industry to do the same and prominent individuals, organizations and groups are coming forward to “stand for freedom”.
Follow the campaign at standforfreedom.org.au